A poststructuralist review of selfies: Moving beyond heteronormative visual rhetoric

Patricia Routh


Mobile devices can instantly create and distribute a digital self-portrait, or ‘selfie’ across a myriad of social networks. The word ‘selfie’ summarises a particular kind of cultural and photographic practice that is motivated by a combination of the agency and aspirational biases of the selfie producer and where they prefer to share on social networks. With a specific focus on gendered selfie production, this paper aims to explore the relevant theories for gender identity within online communities in which selfies are shared. From a theoretical starting point, firstly this paper employs the poststructuralist theories (Deleuze and Guattari, 1980) as interpretative filters for a decisive understanding of the inner “rhizome” of an individual’s ideal of “becoming”. This paper argues that the embodied human subject is transformed by self-exploration with the production and distribution of their selfies.

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ISSN 2398-0532